What if you could take a supplement that would improve your cognitive ability, memory, and focus during these challenging times? So-called “brain pills” have been on the market for decades and remain a hotly disputed topic among the scientific community. Still, the proven efficacy of some of these products speaks for itself.
Focus Factor has been producing dietary supplements to improve focus, memory, and other areas of cognitive health for almost 20 years. The company even has double-blind, placebo-controlled studies to back up their claims. So can these “brain pills” improve your life?
Our team at Innerbody Research delved into the company, the science behind their products, and their customer service and effectiveness. We spent months testing the nootropic supplements ourselves. We’ll share all the details below.
- Clinically tested with data to verify their claims
- Contains a variety of nootropic ingredients
- Offers children’s products
- Time-tested with almost 20 years in the industry
- Safe and affordable
- Bundling can save you 20%
- Hard to know which ingredients are working for you
- Long-term safety of some ingredients is unknown
- Companion app requires a paid subscription
Focus Factor offers brain supplements that boost memory, focus, and cognition in general. A clinical study confirms its efficacy.
The presence of a double-blind clinical study pushes Focus Factor beyond its many competitors who make enticing claims but don’t subject their products to close scrutiny. We suggest talking to a healthcare professional before adding a supplement to your routine.
- How we evaluated Focus Factor
- Why you can trust us
- What is Focus Factor?
- How does Focus Factor work?
- Pricing, payments, and insurance
- Focus Factor Original
- Focus Factor Brain & Vision
- Focus Factor Extra Strength
- Focus Factor Gummies
- Focus Factor Kids
- Focus Factor Kids Extra Strength
- Elderberry Immunity Gummies
- Focus Factor F29 Focus + Energy Shots
- Brain Hub App
- Getting started with Focus Factor
- How does Focus Factor compare to the competition?
Many of the ingredients in Focus Factor boast at least a few interesting studies that support their efficacy. Some of those studies tout increases in memory. Others revealed a boost in focus, and still others in mental clarity. Our testers found that Focus Factor provided a little bit of all three, which makes sense. Clarity set in first — after just a few days — and was the most pronounced. Focus increased after that, and our tester experienced modest memory improvements later on in their regimens. These aren’t miracle pills; they won’t make you a millionaire genius overnight. But they seem to have a positive effect, and given their safety profile, they’re well worth a try.
Focus Factor is relatively inexpensive for their niche. And the company’s bundles give them an even more significant price advantage over their competitors. A basic monthly subscription to the original formula will cost you about $0.66/day. When you compare the ingredients that Focus Factor includes in their formula to those in some of the market’s more expensive offerings, Focus Factor’s price point becomes even more attractive.
Customer service is pretty solid. Communication is a little limited, with no direct phone number or chat feature. Everything goes through email. That said, email responses are fast and courteous. Once you place an order, Focus Factor sends you an email with a tracking number you can use to follow your package to your door. There is no delivery confirmation. As a little surprise, Focus Factor included a bottle of hand sanitizer in our testers’ boxes.
At Innerbody Research, we extensively test each health service we review, including Focus Factor. Our team has spent months testing and researching the products and services of Focus Factor and their chief competitors in the nootropics industry to provide an accurate, unbiased analysis of how the products and services compare, free of marketing jargon and gimmicks.
Over the past two decades, Innerbody Research has helped tens of millions of readers make more informed decisions to live healthier lifestyles. We evaluate the service based on adherence to quality, the latest medical evidence and health standards, and a simple question: would we buy the product or service ourselves if it weren’t part of our job, and would we recommend it to family and friends?
Additionally, like all health-related content on this website, this review was thoroughly vetted by one or more members of our Medical Review Board for accuracy.
Focus Factor is a U.S. company that manufactures vitamin and nutritional supplements to improve mental cognition, focus, and memory. They are a subsidiary of Synergy CHC, which owns several health and beauty companies. Focus Factor relies heavily on scientific evidence for their products, using only ingredients that clinical studies have put to the test.
What products does Focus Factor offer?
Focus Factor offers several products specialized for different needs and types of people. You can choose among them and decide how many months’ worth of capsules you get in each bottle. You may also choose to buy a bundle of several bottles, which will lead to more net savings.
- Focus Factor Original
- Focus Factor Extra Strength
- Focus Factor Gummies
- Focus Factor Brain and Vision
- Focus Factor Kids
- Focus Factor Kids Extra Strength
- Elderberry Immunity Gummies
- F29 Focus and Energy Shots
- Brain Hub App
Focus Factor Original is one of the few nootropic supplements that has been tested, in its entirety, through clinical science. While there has only been one double-blind, placebo-controlled study done on Focus Factor, that’s more than can be said about most other supplements.
The study used the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT) to measure recall. Essentially, the test asks participants to listen to a set number of words and then try to recall them, in order if possible, at several intervals afterward. Focus Factor also outsourced the study to a third party to eliminate bias.
According to this study, Focus Factor works. After using the product for six weeks, the study subjects reported:
- Improved memory
- Improved concentration
- Improved attention
Overall, subjects taking Focus Factor scored 44% higher on the RAVLT than those in the placebo group. The study concluded that Focus Factor provided benefits similar to a 20-year decrease in cognitive aging.
What are nootropics?
Nootropics, also called “cognitive enhancers” or “smart drugs,” are several natural and synthetic chemicals that may impact mental skills. Nootropics range from your everyday caffeine, which can assist with short-term memory and learning, to L-theanine and creatine monohydrate, which have stood up to scientific scrutiny for their abilities to improve cognition.
The audience for nootropic supplements is also wide-ranging, from students hoping to improve test scores to older individuals facing brain fog and cognitive decline. However, you should note that nootropic supplements have not shown an ability to affect Alzheimer’s disease or age-related dementia. One study draws a connection between 2-dimethylaminoethanol (an essential Focus Factor ingredient) and the general mood and well-being of patients with dementia (mainly decreased levels of depression and anxiety). Still, the study failed to show improvements in memory or cognition.
Focus Factor uses a proprietary blend of different nootropic compounds in their formulas. These nootropics have proven their efficacy for cognition and mental performance in separate clinical and scientific studies.
However, some nootropic users caution against taking large numbers of nootropics together. Focus Factor Original contains more than ten compounds individually identified as nootropics and more than two dozen vitamin and mineral supplements.
While there’s no doubt that this may be effective, many people respond differently to different nootropics. Using so many at once makes it difficult to know what is affecting you and in what way. Here’s a complete list of the nootropics Focus Factor uses in their Original formula with links to clinical studies where available:
- Dimethylaminoethanol (as DMAE bitartrate)
- Bacopin® (Bacopa monnieri extract; whole plant)
- L-pyroglutamic acid
- Docosahexaenoic acid concentrate (15% DHA from fish (anchovy, sardine, and salmon) body oil)
- N-acetyl tyrosine
- Bilberry fruit standardized extract (25% anthocyanosides)
- Gamma-aminobutyric acid (grape skin and grape seed extract)
- Trace-Lyte electrolyte concentrate
- Huperzine A (extract of Hupezia serrata; aerial parts)
- Boron (as boron citrate)
- Vanadium (as vanadyl sulfate)
How do you take Focus Factor?
The focus Factor regimen is pretty straightforward. For most versions, you take four pills daily. That’s two with a morning meal and two with an evening meal. You can take all four at once, but you increase the risk of mild digestive discomfort. Our testers kept to the split program, taking two with breakfast and another two with dinner, and they reported no adverse reactions.
The price you pay for Focus Factor products will depend on whether or not you subscribe, how often you want to get shipments, and whether you bundle any products.
Here’s a quick chart to illustrate savings potential:
|Original, 180 tablets||$23.99||$21.59|
|Kids Formula, 150 tablets||$18.99||$17.09|
|Immunity Gummies, 60 gummies||$24.99||N/A|
|Family Bundle (all three)||$54.38 (savings: $13.59)||$48.94(savings: $14.73)|
Shipping is not free, though it is fast. The standard 5-7 day shipping for $6.95 came to our testers within four days. You can also opt for priority shipping for $14.95. If you live outside the US, international shipping is also $14.95, but it’ll take up to four weeks to arrive, depending on your location.
Focus Factor accepts major credit cards, Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, and PayPal.
In all likelihood, there’s no chance that your insurance provider will cover a Focus Factor purchase or reimburse you for it. Focus Factor does not take payments from FSAs or HSAs.
Focus Factor collects personally identifiable and non-personally identifiable information about you when you use their website. The website may employ cookies that help to personalize your experience, speed up searches, or monitor general traffic patterns.
Focus Factor may disclose your personal information to respond to legal requirements, enforce policies, or protect anyone’s rights, property, or safety. The company may also share your personal information with other websites owned by Focus Factor, other companies in the Focus Factor corporate family, and other third parties and service providers.
PRICE: $23.99 for 180 tablets
Focus Factor Original is the supplement that started it all and features in their clinical trial. It contains a wide variety of ingredients, each having a different effect on your cognition and mental health.
- B-complex vitamins, which are essential for helping the body metabolize glucose that the brain can use for fuel.
- Bacopin, a plant extract of Bacopa monnieri. For thousands of years, this powerful nootropic has been a primary ingredient in Ayurvedic medicine.
- Choline, a compound that works in the brain’s acetylcholine system, which is necessary for memory formation and function.
- Vinpocetine, another nootropic supplement that is known to help improve working memory and memory recall.
PRICE: $39.99 for 120 tablets
Brain & Vision costs a little bit more than Focus Factor Original. Its main difference is the inclusion of several nutrients and compounds known to improve eye health. These include two antioxidants present on the retina of the human eyeball: Lutein and Zeaxanthin. Providing the body with these antioxidants can directly help prevent eye damage and disease.
PRICE: $39.99 for 120 tablets
Focus Factor Extra Strength follows the same formula as the original, with the main difference being that it includes higher doses of certain vital nutrients and nootropic supplements. It also introduces ginkgo Biloba extract to the proprietary nootropic blend. Ginkgo has had some success improving memory in small studies, but more extensive studies often leave the question of its efficacy unanswered.
We recommend starting with the original formula for the relatively significant difference in price before trying Extra Strength. If you have success with the original blend, you can consider upgrading.
Our testers didn’t find the original tablets particularly large or difficult to swallow. There are certainly larger pills out there. But for those who would rather take a simple, tasty gummy, Focus Factor designed these easy-to-ingest alternatives.
You should note that while they are more convenient than the pills, the gummies don’t contain the same number of nootropic ingredients as the pills, and the ingredients in the blend are a bit less concentrated. They do boast phospholipids derived from sunflowers, which the original pills lack. These may promote neural connections and plasticity, allowing your brain to more efficiently rewire itself to learn new things and clarify existing knowledge and behavior.
PRICE: $19.99 for 150 tablets
A significant difference with the kids’ formula is that its tablets are chewable, making them much easier to consume for youngsters. Their berry flavor is enjoyable for kids without being too sweet.
Focus Factor’s children’s formula contains far fewer ingredients than their adult offerings. Where the adult blend contains 15 nootropics, the children’s blend has only three:
- N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine
- Coenzyme Q10
The collection of vitamins and minerals Focus Factor puts in their Kids formula is also significantly smaller than what you’ll find in the adult tablets. They also reduce the quantity of each vitamin and mineral to amounts more suitable for young bodies.
Focus Factor says their children’s formula is safe for kids aged four and above. The supplement does not include fish, as you’ll see in adult blends, and it’s also gluten- and dairy-free, but it still contains soy.
PRICE: $24.99 for 120 chewable tablets
The extra strength kids formula is nearly identical to the regular kids’ formula but has a slight increase in the strength of the nootropic blend and a subtle uptick in its mineral content. Note that the extra strength formula is still suitable for children as young as four.
As with the adult formula, we recommend starting with the regular strength to evaluate its performance before upgrading.
PRICE: $24.99 for 60 chewable gummies
Focus Factor’s Immunity Gummies offer support for immune health with three main products known for their antioxidant properties. They include:
- Vitamin C
- Elderberry extract
Elderberry is the interesting ingredient here. It’s not just there for flavor. One prominent study saw a decrease in the duration and intensity of flu symptoms among participants who took elderberry. Some controversy over its efficacy remains, however. Another, more extensive study found no meaningful difference between elderberry and the placebo group. Still, with evidence that it works for some people, it might be worth a try.
- $23.99 for an 8 - pack of Regular Strength
- $27.99 for an 8 - pack of Extra Strength
- $31.99 for an 8 - pack of Maximum Strength
These sugar-free energy shots include nootropics, vitamins, and nutrients to boost energy and improve focus. Ingredients include:
- N-acetyl L-tyrosine
- Malic acid
- Alpha GPC
- Bacopa monnieri extract
- Huperzine A
- Ginkgo biloba extract
The only discernible difference among the shots is their caffeine content.
- Regular - 180 mg
- Extra - 200 mg
- Maximum - 230 mg
Beyond that, their nootropic formulas and vitamin contents are identical.
Focus Factor recently launched an app to accompany your supplements. It effectively gamifies a way to track your progress by letting you play daily games that test your thinking skills, memory recall, and focus. It also provides breathing exercises, guided meditations, and mood tracking, so you can see how the supplement affects you over time.
Unfortunately, the Brain Hub app is an additional cost. You can make your purchase in one of three tiers:
- Monthly plan - $17.49/month
- Yearly plan - $59.99/year (saves you $149.89)
- Lifetime plan - $299.99 billed once
The lifetime plan is the best deal if you use the app regularly for many years, but the yearly plan savings are also significant.
Brain Hub’s program includes three daily training exercises, which are essentially little games. You can browse their training library at any time to play any of the games outside of your training schedule. You can continue to play to increase your score and practice throughout the day, but further difficulty levels only unlock every 24 hours.
The app divides training exercises into five categories, with different games in each.
Focus games test your ability to keep your attention on a given object or see through a complex pattern to recognize a particular aspect of a scene. For example, you might have to identify the text color in the image below, or you might have to identify the text “meaning” color, which is what the word says, and not what color its letters are. It can get hairy pretty fast.
Memory games are among those that most closely resemble the tests scientists will administer in clinical trials that evaluate the performance of Focus Factor and its ingredients. They require rapid absorption of information, spatial and word recall, and visual memory.
The math games are likely to be the least popular among the bunch. This is not just because math is an unpopular subject; the games are boring. The most exciting game involves identifying matches among various fractional representations like ⅓ and $0.33 out of $1. The rest are thinly veiled calculation exercises with limited imagination behind them.
Brain Hub’s problem solving games mostly rely on spatial reasoning and the development of basic algorithms (much easier than it sounds) to find solutions. Anyone good at games like Tetris or Sudoku will find these familiar and engaging. Our testers’ favorite in this category was unanimously the Hoops game, an algorithmic mashup between Pac-man and basketball.
The language games on the Brain Hub app will challenge you to create multiple words from a jumble of letters (basically Boggle), identify antonyms in an unusual setting, and find ideal words missing from passages.
Of the five categories, we found the language games introduced too much subjectivity and were either too intelligent or not intelligent enough to accommodate all users. The Articulation game had answers that seemed arbitrary. “Beat” was an unacceptable replacement for “drained” to describe oneself as tired, but “knackered,” a very British slang, was accepted. And our testers found the Connections game to be far too advanced at the introductory levels and likely to turn players off too early.
Here’s an example of the Connections game’s difficulty:
Any game that involves a keyboard (some of the memory and language games) is particularly annoying. The app does not utilize your phone’s native keyboard, so it immediately puts you at a disadvantage. We train ourselves to the placement and sensitivity of letters on our phone’s keyboard, and the Brain Hub keyboard is a less responsive, smaller, and more spread out interface. Our male testers, whose thumbs tended to be larger, found themselves struggling to input answers promptly.
Meditation and breathing
Brain Hub offers up daily meditations on various topics. You can choose to have a male or female voice guide you through your meditation. Sessions usually last between eight and 10 minutes, so you can squeeze these in on a lunch break if you have the determination. In addition to the daily meditation, you can browse the entire library of available sessions to find ones you like. This library also includes informational recordings about the nature of sleep and other useful topics.
What we’d like to see more in the meditations is a background track for the voice actors. This could be music, drones, or even white noise. Users without noise-canceling headphones may find it difficult to concentrate if they try to meditate in even a moderately noisy environment.
Our testers found that the breathing exercises are simpler, less time-consuming, and frankly more enjoyable than the meditations. You simply set a timer for a breathing session, which can be as short as one minute or as long as an hour. A visual cue on the screen guides you through breathing in and out at a regular pace, and you can set the length of the breaths to match your comfort level.
The one downside to this is that there’s no audio component, so you have to keep your eyes open throughout the exercise. An optional accompanying track to guide your inhales and exhales would be an improvement.
Shopping on the Focus Factor website is easy and intuitive:
Peruse the products. Focus Factor frequently offers special deals, and its lineup of products is ever-expanding.
Make your selection(s). Once you’ve decided what product(s) you’d like to order, you have the option of ordering different pill counts and bottle amounts. You earn more significant savings by ordering in bundles. Focus Factor also offers a Subscribe & Save option that saves you 10% on all orders.
Continue to checkout. Once you enter your shipping address, Focus Factor will calculate your shipping and handling costs. Regular shipping is $6.95 per order and should arrive in 5-7 business days. Priority shipping is $14.95 and arrives in 1-3 days. Shipping outside the United States is also $14.95 and comes in 1-4 weeks. Make your payment. Focus Factor accepts all major credit cards, Apple Pay, PayPal, and Amazon Pay.
Try out your product(s). It’s a good idea to take a sample dose before committing to the full, four-capsule recommended dosage. This way, you’ll be able to identify if you have any unpleasant or allergic response to any of the 30+ ingredients included.
Evaluate your satisfaction. Keep in mind, Focus Factor’s clinical survey indicates that it takes at least six weeks to experience the benefits of its products fully. If you choose, you can subscribe to the company’s Brain Hub app to track your progress.
There is no shortage of competition in the cognitive health space. Focus Factor sits comfortably above the middle of an expansive field in terms of quality. From a cost perspective, they offer some of the best prices out there. But it’s worth looking more closely at a few competitors whose products we would rate similarly.
For as little as $40 for their annual subscription, Elysium’s Matter isn’t much more expensive than something like Focus Factor’s extra-strength formula. But its ingredient list is far shorter. It relies primarily on free fatty acids in addition to a vitamin blend to achieve its results.
If its particular ingredients happen to be among those that work for you, it might be a good buy, but it’s a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you get a potentially more targeted treatment that doesn’t give you anything extraneous or unnecessary. On the other hand, it has less of a likelihood of efficacy, and its efficacy may be diminished compared to Focus Factor.
You can read more about Elysium’s full line of supplements in our comprehensive review.
Neurohacker Qualia Mind
Qualia Mind is one of the more expensive cognitive offerings on the market. Even with a subscription discount, you’ll still pay $80/month for it. Its closest comparison in the Focus Factor lineup is their extra-strength formula, which costs less than half what Qualia Mind costs for remarkably similar ingredients.
That said, there are some critical differences among the ingredients, and the exact quantities of each ingredient are unclear. Qualia Mind may be more than twice as effective as Focus Factor, and its price is perhaps a bargain. For the moment, we’d recommend starting with Focus Factor, and if you have success and want to see if other companies can do better, then try something a bit more expensive.
While many nootropic supplements out there come in pill or gummy form, Genius Consciousness is a powder that you stir into water and drink. You can get it in watermelon or mango flavor.
Genius Consciousness might appeal to some because it’s a nootropic blend that doesn’t utilize any vitamins. That means that you can stick to any vitamin regimen you may already have and add this powder to your routine without creating any redundancies.
At $37.99/container, it’s the next best price you’ll find after Focus Factor.
Nue Co Nootro-Focus
Nue takes a more holistic approach to individual targets than most other companies. They seem to understand that mental health and cognitive health go hand-in-hand. So their Nootro-Focus supplement contains nootropics to enhance cognitive performance and adaptogenic compounds to potentially reduce anxiety and provide you with a sense of calm. This is in direct contrast to something like Qualia Mind, which is caffeinated.
A subscription is a little pricey at $68/month. Refills come in slim, lightweight recyclable bags, and you keep reusing the jar you get with your first order. It’s a small thing, but it can help reduce the carbon footprint of your monthly shipments.